To provide the highest quality evidence-based educational and social-emotional programming to diverse children with autism spectrum disorders and their families.
The Early Learning Institute was started to meet the early intervention needs of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Mid-Michigan and to provide "hands-on" training for service providers across a range of disciplines to implement evidence-based practices with children with ASD and their families. The Institute is a training site for students and trainees at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, and post doctoral) and across many human service fields including applied behavior analysis, child development, psychology, and special education. The Early Learning Institute is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Social Science and the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education in the College of Education.
Based on extensive evidence from several reviews of scientific research identifying applied behavior analysis (ABA) as the most effective method for treating ASD, the Early Learning Institute utilizes principles and procedures of ABA to deliver therapeutic services to children aged 2-5 years old who have autism spectrum disorders. Programming is delivered within the Child Development Laboratory Preschool at MSU, Head Start at Capital Area Community Services, Inc. in Lansing, and Midway Early Childhood Learning center in Holt, and individualized to the needs and goals of each child and family. Each child attends the Institute year-round for an entire day, Monday through Thursday.